If you’re going to be spending time in a theme park you’ll want to pack the best shoes for walking and standing all day. Avoiding blisters, aching toes and swollen feet is key to amusement park success! Our Day Trips Traveling Mom (and frequent theme park traveler) is sharing her suggestions for the most comfortable walking shoes for women, including sandals, flip-flops, sneakers, and flats. She’s also offering some thoughts about choosing the right kid’s shoes for amusement park travel.
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What are the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes?
If there’s anything I learned after asking fellow writers and theme park travelers, it’s that everyone has a very strong opinion on the best shoes for amusement parks! What one person says are the most comfortable walking shoes, another person says give her a blister! Some swear by sandals for their ability to dry quickly in damp weather and allow for foot swelling. Others insist that sneakers are the best (particularly if they are well-broken in). And what about those who say that flats or flip-flops are the best shoes for theme park touring? I set to work doing my research and talked to dozens of theme park regulars about their favorite theme park shoes. These are the top picks for the most comfortable walking shoes to wear at a theme park.
Best Sandals for Theme Parks
During warm weather vacations, sandals are my go-to pair of shoes at the amusement parks. Open-toed shoes allow for feet swelling, which can easily happen when you’re standing on hot pavement for hours. Necessary in comfortable walking shoes, right? Sandals are also light-weight and often dry quickly in inclement weather. Sandals are a cute option when paired with shorts or capri pants. And open-toed sandals are a lovely way to show off your Disney-themed pedicure!
From Becca Robins, our Memory Making TravelingMom:
Chaco are a rugged sandal made for hiking and rafting so they are made to be worn and walked in even when wet. The straps can be adjusted fully for a perfect, personalized fit, and you can send them back for re-webbing or resoling for life at a minimal cost.
Teva sandals are the choice of Cathy Bennett Kopf, Optimism TravelingMom:
Other Sandal Shout-outs
- KEEN (they can get wet and help with sweaty feet).
- Skechers Cali Yoga Sandals
- Open-toed sandals are what I most frequently wear to the theme parks. I have a few favorites, including the Hi-Tec Women’s Soul Riderz Strap sandal. These shoes are flexible with a cushioned footbed and sculpted midsole that absorbs impact. Adjustable hook-and-loop straps with a soft lining accommodate for any foot swelling at the end of the day.
My new favorite is the NATURAL SOUL Women’s Amore Sandal. These shoes are as cute as they are comfy! They have an adjustable hook and loop closure on the side so you can adjust and the addition of elastic to allow for foot swelling and ultimate comfort. I have the Natural Soul Amore in both blue and mauve so they’ll coordinate with all my DisneyBound outfits.
Should You Wear Slip-On Shoes to an Amusement Park?
Slip on shoes vary from dressier flats to tennis-shoe hybrids. I’ve never thought about flat shoes being the best travel shoes but there are many who rave about these slip-on stylish walking shoes for travel. If packing flats for theme park travel, check the arch support and traction on the bottom.
Nasreen Stump, our Road Warrior TravelingMom, has two recommendations:
I’m a Tieks freak. I love the colors and they’re super comfy for me and cute if I DisneyBound. I also now have one pair of Rothy’s. They’re made out of recycled water bottles and are better in wet circumstances than Tieks.
I received recommendations for Skechers Performance Go Walk from Renee Virata (Military TravelingMom) and Leslie Harvey (Frequent Flyer TravelingMom). While the Skechers Go Walk might not be the cutest, they are very practical shoes for theme parks. I’ll often wear my Skechers as well. They have elastic straps across the top (similar to the Skechers Shape Ups) If you like the princess bling, you have to see the Skechers Street line with all the metallic, shine and glitter!
Slip-On Shoes Recommendations
- Bobs (you HAVE to see the sparkly Skechers BOBS Luxe with Rhinestones!)
- Vans Leather Metallic Slip-ons
- Onitsuka Tiger Asics Slip-On
- Disney x TOMS collection has slip-ons inspired by Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. There are even coordinating Toddler Disney x TOMS for young park travelers!
Best Amusement Park Sneakers
Ready to lace-up your running shoes and take on the theme parks? For many, athletic shoes offer the great support you’ll need when constantly walking and standing. Be sure to also choose the right sock and make sure sneakers are appropriately “broken in” before travel.
Dana Zucker, our Luxe TravelingMom has a few tips for choosing theme park sneakers:
(Choose) sneakers with great support. I am a believer in supporting your entire body and it starts with proper footwear. I always get fitted by a professional to be sure they are the right fit. And I buy one pair for running and one for daily wear like theme park days, usually the same brand.
Other recommendations for sneakers with versions that offer cushioned support and are still stylish with metallic details.
Recommendations for Sneakers
Texas TravelingMom Jill Robbins has the most perfect sparkly shoes for theme park touring:
I wear Prep Obsessed Glitter Joggers. I have them in silver but the site also has rose gold and pink. These are definitely my Disney Shoes.
My current theme park tennis shoes are these lightweight Keds Craze Ii Leather Sneakers. They are stylish and cute with shorts or capris and the plain white leather goes with everything. The version I have wipes clean easily so they stay white. Keds also has a magical Kate Spade New York Keds line of sparkly Champion shoes with your choice of 9 colors and ribbon laces that are just perfect for theme park princesses!
Are Flip Flops Good for the Theme Park?
I’d always cringed at the thought of wearing flip flops all day at the amusement park. That is until we experienced pouring rain all day at Disney World and realized that schlepping around in our soaking wet athletic shoes wasn’t working. Fortunately my mother-in-law had brought several pairs of Coach Thong Sandals on the trip. I wore a pair each day it rained and loved how quickly they dried out. The bottoms were non-slip and they were extremely comfortable, even after hours of walking in them while wet.
So I’m a flip flop theme park convert. But I’d still use caution before wearing just any pair. Flat beach-type plastic flip-flops aren’t going to offer the support you need for walking on concrete all day. I highly recommend shoes with cushioning and a bit of a lift in the back for a comfortable shoe that you can wear all day.
Our Travel Hack TravelingMom Dia Adams shares her recommendation:
FitFlops are rubber so they can get wet, are padded and super comfortable, and look cute even with a dress.
Jennifer Mitchell, Fitness TravelingMom says flip flops are a must:
I wear Tevas or flip flops. I blister easily so sneakers are a no-go.
High recommendations for these flip flops:
- Rainbow flip flops
- Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flop
- OOFOS Oolala Flip-Flop
- Vionic with Orthaheel Flip Flops
- I also personally recommend Nike Womens Comfort Thong Flip Flops. These have a soft memory foam foot bed that hugs and comforts your feet while you walk.
Best Theme Park Shoes for Kids
Choosing comfortable shoes for kids is top of the list for a theme park vacation (unless you like hearing your kids whine about sore feet and complain that they simply can’t walk another step!). Just like you carefully plan your kid’s outfits for Disney, you need to also think about their shoe choices. For young kids, I highly recommend pediped.
Whatever you do, don’t let your girls wear the fake plastic heels that come with princess dresses. These are not suitable for walking in at the parks and will only cause blisters and sore feet! Tiny princesses will love the sparkle effect on the glitter Mary Jane-style pediped. I love that the glitter doesn’t flake or fall off! And they are so cute paired with a princess dress.
If your kids are older and not using a stroller at the theme parks, make sure that their shoes are going to withstand all the pavement pounding. My kids have all worn Crocs over the years during our amusement park vacations. Crocs Kids are water-resistant and come in a variety of styles including Disney Crocs and Star Wars themed Crocs.
Great suggestions for kid’s theme park shoes:
Additional Tips for Travel Shoes
- Choose the right shoe for your trip. If you’re planning on getting wet (like at SeaWorld), you might want to choose a water resistant style. If you’re going to be walking a lot (like in Disney World’s Epcot), choose cushioned athletic shoes.
- Know that your feet tend to tire easily? Bring an alternate pair of shoes and socks with you into the park. Keep the second set in a backpack or rental locker. If your shoes are irritating you for any reason or your feet swell, you’ll have a pair to switch into.
- Consider shoe inserts or orthodics. Read these ideas on how to have pain-free feet on vacation.
- “Break” your shoes in first by wearing them several times pre-vacation.
- Bring a First Aid kit stocked with items to relieve foot issues. I use New-Skin Liquid Bandage that can be painted onto the skin and when it dries, leaves a waterproof “bandage” that eases friction.
- Beware of sandals with straps that may potentially rub or pinch skin.
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